UK’s British Petroleum (BP) has agreed to a 20-year deal with Italian Eni to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a big new field off the coast of Mozambique, an important step in getting a long-delayed project off the ground, Financial Times reported.

The BP contract clears the way for Eni and Mozambique to make the long-awaited final investment decision (FID) on a project to build a floating offshore platform with a capacity to produce 3.3mt/y of LNG from gas in the Coral South field. The project’s FID is expect by the end of 2016, according to Reuters. Furthermore, this development in Mozambique’s Area 4 can increase the momentum of Eni’s drive to sell a stake in the assets, with bankers and analysts considering Exxon as the most likely buyer.

Egypt Oil&Gas previously reported that Eni had approached banks for billions of dollars to finance Mozambique’s huge offshore gas development. Eni had met with bankers in London, late September, to discuss financing for the development of the Coral field, part of the huge reserves discovered six years ago in the Area 4 concession off the Mozambican coast. However, the banks were also looking for credit guarantees from foreign governments, including Britain and China.